English blog

Life begins at forty … 

25-11-2011 - Posted by Andre Piet

embryo selection When does life begin? That is the question of principle which, at government level, is very current. State Secretary, Jet Bussemaker (the Netherlands) wrote that parents with a genetic form of breast cancer, who want to be sure that their IVF child does not have this gene, are allowed to have an embryo selection performed. The Christian Union was adamantly against it. For her, life begins at conception. From this (classical-Christian) idea, the selection of embryos or the performing of an abortion, is considered to be no different than homicide, plain murder. At this last claim: (abortion = murder), I will take a closer look, using this weblog. the womb Biblically, it indeed makes perfect good sense that nothing deserves more protection than the womb. It may be called significant that the Hebrew word for “womb” (rechem) is derived from the same root as the word for “mercy” or “compassion”‘. Whoever says ‘womb’, says “mercy” (“compassion”). The womb is the intimate place where God’s miracle of the development of the unborn child takes place (see Ps.139:13-16). injury or homicide? But… the importance of the protection of the womb is something different from the claim that life begins at conception; or that aborting a pregnancy is the same as murder. The Bible regards this as being different. Shortly after “the ten words” in Exodus 20, we find a law involving a miscarriage.

22 When men strive together and strike a pregnant woman, and her child comes forth, and no mishap comes to be, he shall be fined, yea fined just as the woman’s possessor shall impose on him, and he will pay through mediators. 23 Yet if a mishap comes to be then you will give soul for soul… Exodus 21

This legislation shows that abortion by “accident”, is considered to inflict injury to the pregnant woman. Assuming that the woman would die by the violence of one of the men, then it would be judged to be homicide. An abortion is not counted as homicide. life is breathing In the Bible, live the same as “everything that has breath“. Not for nothing is mention made of “the breath of life”. God blew the breath of life into Adam’s nose and so he became a living soul (Gen.2:7). In Genesis 7:22, we read, “which has the breath of the spirit of the living in his nostrils.” Spirit and breath are synonymous concepts in the Bible. A man receives the spirit by the first breath (=at birth) and he gives the spirit when he blows out the last breath. Until the end of pregnancy, the life of the child is none other than the life of the mother. It lives on the breath of the mother. At birth the child is breathing on its own and thus begins to live, itself. The age of a human being is rightly counted from birth, not from conception. Life begins at forty … weeks. ——————————— translation: Peter Feddema